SAMSUNG GALAXY BUDS

Design & Construction

Samsung finally did it, they have created their very own pair of truly wireless in-ear headphones for the Galaxy phones. They say third time's the charm. But just how good is it? Let's dive straight into the design. Once again just like its predecessor, Samsung stuck to the iconic tiny glossy finish on the face of the earbuds themselves. The earbuds also come with 3 different size silicone ear tips to ensure a tight seal and secure fit. All controls for music playback and calls are controlled via the touchpad on the earbuds themselves. A single tap on either bud play/pause your music, a double tap skips forward, and a triple tap skips backwards. Tapping and hold on the other hand, can be customised to activate Google Assistant, enable Ambient Sound Mode or control volume levels. For volume control, tap and hold the right earbud to increase and left to decrease. Throughout long listening sessions, I experienced no wearing fatigue in my ear canal due to its small size, in fact I do forget that it's in my ears after a while. However, the earbuds are not very weather-resistant at IPX2. Sure, you can walk through rain worry-free, but heavy sweating or splashing water may just damage the buds all together. Even though the earbuds have a gloss finish, it does a a great job at resisting fingerprints smudges. The touchpads are highly responsive and respond to my tap rather accurately. Moving on to the case, it is rounded and fits right into my palm of my hands. A USB Type-C port can be found on the back of the case. In fact, this may be the world's smallest true wireless buds and case. It fits very well in tight jeans front pockets and doesn't add a huge bulge. There are two LED indicators on the case, One outside and one inside. They tell you the current charge of the case and the earbuds. Green LEDs indicate fully charged, red LEDs indicates low charge or charging in progress and yellow LEDs indicates moderate battery life. The case is a magnetically attaches the earbuds to their charging points and also magnetically shut close. The structure of the case and the hinge seems quite durable and is likely to survive a couple of accidental drops and prolonged usage over the years to come. The Galaxy Buds come in White, Black and Yellow finishes.

Sound Quality

With the ownership of AKG, Samsung delivered some impressive yet balanced sound. They produce an extremely bright, clean sound signature that creates a very immersive sound experience. Although bass is not boosted, it is clean and detailed while not bleeding into the mids. Mid-range is rather natural and crisp. Highs have character and are fun to listen to. Through the Galaxy Wearable App available for download on the App Store only, you can change the sound signature and functions of the buds. The app has a built-in equalizer that will change the sound signature of the buds from presets like Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear and Treble Boost. Sadly, you cannot customise your very own. But in all case, the Galaxy Buds are great for all genres of music ranging from slow jazz to fast-paced EDM tracks. The soundstage is decent with some instrument separation. I personally only use the Dynamic preset as it gives a real balance of bass and treble boost with increased loudness. Bass Boost on the other hand. never really did any difference to the sound except for decreasing some volume. Based on user experience, the noise isolation is top-notch, I could not hear much of my surroundings even when I had no music on and when I am using it at a low volume level. There was no sound leakage even at full volume and no high-volume distortion. Call quality was not as good as advertised, as the caller feedbacked that I sound unnatural and the audio cuts in and out when used in a noisy environment. In a quiet environment, the caller heard me loud and clear. Sound will come out from both earbuds so taking calls is easy and normal. Ambient Sound Mode is another new feature which allows us to talk to someone without removing the earbud, however there are many flaws to it. First, users have to give up both Google Assistant and volume control to do so. Second, it takes 3 seconds for it to take in ambient sound and in real world use, it is faster for me to take out one earbud to strike up a conversation with someone. On the bright side, you can permanently enable ambient sound mode with music playback through the app and control the amount of surrounding noise you want to let in.

Connectivity & Portability

The earbuds support the standard SBC and AAC codec together with Bluetooth Version 5.0. Users can choose to use only one earbud if desired and either left or right can be assigned to be the master earbud. The battery life peaks at 6 hours per use and 7 hours from the case; a total of 13 hours. The case features fast charging that will give you about 100 minutes of playback with a 15 minute charge. The package also comes with a USB Type-C cable for charging and if you own one of the latest Samsung phones like the S10 series, you may use Wireless Powershare to wirelessly charge the earbuds via the back of your phone or on a wireless charging pad. Lastly, if you are planning to watch videos or movies with these, I am glad to report that they do not suffer from any latency.

PROS

  • Durable Construction

  • Small & Discreet

  • IPX2 Water-Resistant

  • Bluetooth 5.0

  • Customisable Sound

  • Ambient Sound Mode

  • Google Assistant Integration

  • Controls For Music Playback, Volume & Calls

  • Long Battery Life

  • USB Type-C Wireless Charging

  • Fast Charge

  • A Range of Colours

CONS​​

  • Only One Additional Charge From Case

  • Weak Water-resistance

 

The Bottom Line

The Samsung Galaxy Buds is a well-priced true wireless in-ear headphone that features a small and sleek build, Bluetooth 5.0, customisable sound, wireless USB Type-C charging. A true marvel of design and technology. 

WE RATE IT!

9.5/10

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